In Case You Missed It: Alas, poor Flip! I knew him . . .

Came across an interesting tidbit today … apparently we are about to lose a pioneering member of the video sharing world, the Flip video camera. Cisco, which purchased Flip maker Pure Digital not too long ago, has officially announced they will "close down the Flip business."

In the world of transitional technology (or things that give way to other things that can do lots of things), we see this happen all the time. The whole reason I don’t have a landline anymore is because my home phone never let me reign down disgruntled feathery fire upon pigs. So trend-wise, I can’t say I am surprised.

While this might not be the end of shoot and share camcorders, as other companies still make similar cameras, I do think this event warrants a proper moment of reflection on type of era the Flip helped nurture and what it meant to connecting with the community.

(Video goodbye after the break)

I will miss Flip with a fondness. Behind that little screen, the pop-up USB, the low price-point and the elegant, yet fun design was a powerhouse of memory making. And the single-minded dedication with which it would share my daily mishaps and triumphs with the world made it a truly worthy companion in a social world.

In fact I may not fully abandon my Flip! I have always been a late adopter of obsolescence! You’re talking to the guy that used a cell phone, PDA and PSP at the same time! Admittedly, I had a larger waist then, and as such had more room on my belt from which to attach things, but still . . . ah, so conflicted.

Though, before I say, "Rage, rage against the dying of the Flip," I do think it is important to note that the Flip is not disappearing because there is no use for it. Rather, it is growing up and giving way to devices that fit more conveniently into our lifestyles. It says that these shared experiences are so crucial to our existence, that the capability to do it needs to be more readily available.

More importantly, the Flip has afforded many stations the opportunity to see life through their community’s eyes. By handing out these little storytellers, the world became a little smaller; the neighborhood became a little closer. The power to show and share the stories of our lives became a little easier. One of the more triumphant demonstrations of this power was PBS's partnership with YouTube during the 2008 presidential elections with the successful Video Your Vote project. PBS and YouTube distributed Flip cams across the country through PBS member stations to citizens who recorded their voting experiences.

And if anything, it shows that the best way to connect a community is to give its members the voice to do so. That’s the legacy of the Flip.

Created by Flip, for Flip. 

Post your own farewell/please-don't-go message to your Flip in the comments, or create one with your Flip, upload it and post a link.


  1. I love my Flip cam. I purchased an HD mini one last year before a trip to Russia - it was great to have such a simple and compact camera with me and I love the little videos I made on my trip. Since then, the Flip has been essential at home with my two new kittens and I plan to take it with me this summer on vacation.